Our 1 year road’niversary!!

🎉 We made it 1 year on the road!! 🎉

I can hardly believe it was 1 year ago that we set off on our big adventure. Looking back, there isn’t a thing we’d change beside not getting on the road sooner. We’ve learned so much after all this time on the road and we look forward to many more years on road. Here are some fun stats from our past nomadic year:


A bit of background on our decision to go nomad:
In the fall of 2015, we decided to hit the road with the SUV and a travel trailer. Our goal was to set off on April 1st, 2016 and stay on the road for 1 full year. Within 2 months, we knew we had made the right decision. Becoming full-time nomads was to give us more opportunities to explore and go backpacking in new areas. And oh boy, did we?! We hiked, biked, drove and explored new areas every weekend. Okay, there was some weekends we did nothing and did our house chores, but that’s beside the point 😉

We’re thankful that everything went smoothly and was not hit with major setbacks. We had car trouble and some trailer issues but nothing we couldn’t fix. It can be scary at times but nothing we couldn’t overcome.

Close proximity:
Living in close quarters with each other, we got to know each other pretty well. We knew when to give each others space and we took it one day at a time. It’s a sort of tango that we quickly learned to dance to.

To the upcoming year:
We have a few ideas on what we’d like to do this upcoming year. We will be going back to Colorado for the summer and continuing our exploring of the mountains. At the moment, our plan is to stay roughly until November and move to the Southwest again for Winter. Can you really blame us for enjoying these 50°-70° sunny days?! We have a potential big exploration plan for 2018 which will firm up in a few weeks. We’ll let you in on our secret when the time comes. Go on now… go explore a little!

“Use your fear… It can take you to a place where you store your courage.” – Amelia Earhart

More fun stats:

  • Miles driven: 20,314 miles!
  • State visited: 14 States (AZ, CA, NM, TX, KS, CO, SD, WI, IA, OK, NE, LA, NV, WY)
  • Miles hiked: 523 miles
  • National park visited: 6 (JTNP, DVNP, RMNP, PFNP, GCNP)
  • Long Trails visited: 4: CT, AZT, GET & LSHT.
  • RV parks visited: 10 RV parks/Resorts
  • Boondocking nights: 23 free nights of camping on BLM
    • This includes SUV camping
  • Turkeys hit: 1 on the highway that gave us a broken mirror.
  • Countries Explored: 2: New Zealand and USA
  • State Highpoints climbed: 8 (AZ, NM, CO, LA, SD, KS, OK, NE)
    • Highest Climbed this year: 14,433 ft. Mt. Elbert, Colorado




7 thoughts on “Our 1 year road’niversary!!

  1. Leigh | Campfires & Concierges says:

    Happy Road’niversary! Bailey and I are aiming for Tucson next November…maybe we’ll see you there 🙂


  2. Kelley A. Rudolph says:

    Hello Melanie,

    We get a kick out of your emails and postings. Good info! I especially like the last one regarding expenses incurred along the way. Question for you… How much has been spent on campgrounds? Good BLM tip too!

    Also, I have been thinking about Colorado 14ers for a while knowing i/we may never get the chance to tackle one. I finally read more about Mt. Elbert this morning and remembered that you hiked some of these peaks. Checked your last post and noticed you hiked Elbert. That peak Sounds like a real challenge. From my reading I am realizing that 14ers are serious business.

    Keep hiking.

    Mike Rudolph AKA Kelley’s husband Rudy

    Sent from my iPad



    • Melanie Levesque says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog Rudy! As far as expenses on the campgrounds, one thing to keep in mind is that we use the campgrounds that are directly in town therefore much more expensive than those in the boonies. That’s because I want to be living near where I work. For the past year, we average $622/mo for campground fees. Our most expensive was $725/mo (without electricity, OUCH!) and the cheapest was $400/mo (WITH electricity).

      The BLM in the southwest are great! Our favorite has been the one right outside of Joshua Tree National park, and second would be the one out of Grand Canyon.

      As far as 14er, they are challenging but oh, so rewarding! We tackled them when we were used to the elevation (living in Denver we were at 5,000ft). There are a few popular, and easier ones to access near Denver. Don’t be surprised to see the parking lots full and have to walk a mile away to get to the trailhead. I am sure that you could ‘bag’ a few 14ers if you ever visited Denver. Elbert is a few hours away from Denver. There is a pay campground there or you could drive a bit further up and be on BLM land for free. You could bring the pumpkin there easily. I remember while hiking Elbert, I would take a few steps up, pause for a few breath and keep going. It’s doable, just may take some time. Keep in mind that afternoon storms are a real threat above tree line so try to hike up and down before noon. 🙂 You can email me (or text me, Kelley has my cell number) anytime if you have any questions 😀


  3. Jeff says:

    Melanie / Brian, hello

    Hey, very nice visiting with you Melanie …. glad all is fun & games.

    My daughter shared this Van conversion with me and I’ll share with you since you mention a white van possibility.





    LENDRUMPHOTOGRAPHY LLC 1106 E. Forest Ave. Neenah, Wi. 54956 920.277.6151


    CONFIDENTIALITY & COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This message, including attachments and contents, is Copyright © Jeff Lendrum, All Rights Reserved. It is expressly for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, transfer, or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender immediately and destroy all copies of the original message. Copyright violation penalties will apply.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff says:

    Hi, Living down South for so many years made us weary of flood vehicles … Look strong at the history and location of the Vehicle and always look under the seats at the mounting brackets as well as engine mounts that are hard to see … Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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